Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mushroom Hunter's Tools: Wax Paper

The Mushroom Hunter's Tools segment explores some common (and not so common) tools of the hobby. Today we'll feature one of the more common materials used safeguard our finds - wax paper.

In the last installment of Mushroom Hunter's tools we learned that a basket with sections can be useful when you need to separate different species of mushrooms. Well what if your container doesn't have sections or dividing features at all? Enter wax paper! This common kitchen amenity can solve much of the disorganization mushroom hunters often face by simply wrapping individual mushrooms or groups. What are the benefits of using wax paper?
Here are a few:

  • As stated above wax paper can be used to separate mushrooms into either individuals or groups. This makes an accidental mix up very unlikely.
  • The wax paper protects specimens from the jostling damage they would likely receive during your journey home. Incidentally this can also help your chances of getting an accurate spore print when you get home. (Nothing is more annoying than having to wait for a spore print that will never happen!)
  • The paper can be written on, further organizing your growing collection. This becomes especially useful when you are collecting many different species.
  • Wax paper is, by nature, a breathable material. Using this instead of something like a ziplock will insure that your mushrooms stay fresh till you can get them home to properly preserve or cook them. Read more about preventing premature mushroom decay here.
So whether you are looking to protect your finds from hiking damage or you are looking to better organize them, wax paper is a good place to start.

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